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There is someone that I know who lives down a narrow street somewhere in the city by the bakers. The house with the small patio and the black ever so slightly rusted gate. If you ever visit her you will often find her scurrying from room to room with a small grin across her face.
“Hi Sarah, how is your family?” she asks each time she sees me.
She is a character who seeks to help and care for those around her, no matter who they are or where they are from. She is humble, with an innocent heart that seeks to serve.
I had met her accidentally, one afternoon in July, in a beautiful flower-filled courtyard. She looked towards me and caught my eye, we both paused and fixed our eyes on each other. Within seconds her eyes widened and began to glow.
I have never seen such warmth, purity and innocence concealed within two gleaming hazel eyes. They say the eyes are the windows to the soul of a person, and oh how her soul was filled with love. A deep love, the kind that sees past imperfections and the kind that wants to solve problems.
She would always appear at the most unsuspected moments; she would walk into my office or the office of colleagues with bottles of ice-cold water on boiling hot days. She would offer her necklaces and earrings to myself and other girls who were living on the compound at the time. It felt like she was willing to surrender anything, just to ensure our happiness.
I am haunted by one memory of her, a time when her eyes were filled with a grief that no pen could define. Her father, a well respected, loved and cherished member of the city community had died. I will always remember that evening when we sat in the garden arranging the funeral, I watched her heart slowly break into pieces and crumble before me. It is an image that I never want to see again. We were surrounded by blooming colourful flowers that seemed to serve as a reminder of life, we could not seem to appreciate it at that moment – our loss was a great one and its pain was all too real.
The following day I also heard news from England, my Grandmother had died. The girl found me, once again sat in the blooming colourful garden. Once again surrounded by beauty pondering the loss of another dear person. The girl looked at me through a pair of red-rubbed tear-stained eyes and stared into my broken spirit whispering undoubtedly the most powerful words in existence.
“I love you, Sarah”
I was touched that in that depths of her pain, she still fought to find some encouragement to impart to me. The only words she could find were those of commitment to a friendship that has lasted for over six years.
After five months of grieveing, her laugh began to return, slowly and steadily. Four of us gathered together in her mother’s small sitting room. Her hair was being cut for the first time in months by a treasured friend. Strands of her delicate, silver hair floated to the ground and we all laughed and chuckled in unison. Once again, I caught a glimpse of her gentle, tender heart as she looked at me and spoke the same meaningful words.
“I love you, Sarah”
When my twentieth birthday came, she found me and sat next to me holding a plate with a small cake which she had made herself.
“Happy Birthday, Sarah! Happy Birthday!” She sang as she giggled.
She truly is a beautiful character. She shines the radiance of the sun amidst the darkness that surrounds her. She is gentle and soft like a dove, like peace. Her eyes are full of care and admiration for every soul that passes by. She is simply a lover, a person destined to love.
She is also a rather unusual character, mainly because of her hope – the hope within her that outshines the darkness of adversity. She is a lover to be sure, a lover of the ultimate lover – her father God in heaven, just like her parents before her.
She is a warrior and some would even argue that she is an angel. She has faced many challenges in her life and she will always continue to conquer them.
May we all grow to love others so innocently and simply, just as she does on a daily basis.